Current Infectious Disease Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 391–396 | Cite as

Balamuthia Mandrillaris Amoebic Encephalitis: An Emerging Parasitic Infection

  • Francisco G. Bravo
  • Carlos Seas
Central Nervous System and Eye Infections (KC Bloch, Section Editor)


Balamuthia mandrillaris is a free living amoeba that can be isolated from soil. It is an emerging pathogen causing skin lesions as well as CNS involvement with a fatal outcome if untreated. The infection has been described more commonly in inmunocompetent individuals, mostly males, many children, and with a predilection for population with Hispanic background in cases occurring in the United States. Except for Africa, all continents have reported the disease, although a majority of cases are seen in North and South America. In published reported cases from North America, most patients will debut with neurological symptoms, where as in countries like Peru, a skin lesion will precede other symptoms. The classical skin lesion is a plaque, mostly located on face or knee. Diagnosis requires a high level of suspicion. Therapeutic strategies require a multidrug approach, than includes at least one amebicidal drug, and prolonged periods of treatment.


Balamuthia mandrillaris Free living amoeba Epidemiology Hispanics Peru Skin CNS Pathology Diagnosis Therapy Miltefosin 



The authors want to recognize the joined effort of specialists from dermatology, infectious disease, neurology, pediatrics, pathology and microbiology departments at the IMTAvH and the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in caring for the patients with BMAI. It is a cooperative work among all these specialties what has allow us to reach the current level of knowledge about this disease. We also want to thank Dr. Dalila Martinez for keeping the register of patients at our institution.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Medcina Tropical Alexander von HumboldtUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaLimaPeru
  2. 2.Department of PathologyHospital Nacional Cayetano HerediaLima 31Peru
  3. 3.Department of Tropical and Infectious DiseasesHospital Nacional Cayetano HerediaLima 31Peru

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